New Era Begins

Members of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) sent a strong message about their desire for change last week, voting by a wide margin to elect Tobias Vanderhoop as the new chairman of the tribal council.

Vineyard Wampanoags Elect New Chairman, Marking Generational Shift

Tobias J. Vanderhoop was elected chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) Sunday in a much-watched tribal election, unseating two-term chairman Cheryl Andrews-Maltais by a wide margin.

In Election Countdown, Wampanoag Casino Plan Reignites Legal Dispute

Prospect of a Vineyard casino was thrust back into the spotlight this week with the announcement the tribe was moving to build a gaming facility in Aquinnah.

Tribe Braces for Government Shutdown

With the federal government shutdown Tuesday due to a budget stalemate, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) is bracing for impact.

Tribe Appeals Recent Casino Ruling

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has appealed a decision that blocks its right to intervene in a federal lawsuit concerning the state’s casino law.

In the original lawsuit, private developer K.G. Urban Enterprises argues that a provision in the 2011 gaming act is unconstitutional.

Region Opened to Commercial Gambling, Vineyard Presses on with Casino Plans

A decision by the state gaming commission late last week to open up Southeastern Massachusetts to commercial bidding for casinos will not disrupt casino plans by the Vineyard Wampanoags, the head of the Vineyard tribe said.

“We have been following these events as well . . . . It doesn’t impact us at all,” Cheryl Andrews-Maltais said in an email to the Gazette. Mrs. Andrews Maltais is chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah).

Tribe Translates Oral Tradition for School Curriculum

In an attempt to establish consistency and accuracy in history classes, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) education committee and tribal historic preservation office are developing a curriculum on Wampanoag history and culture for the Island public schools.

On Tuesday night, members of the tribal education committee joined the up-Island regional school committee for a broad discussion on communication between the tribe and the schools. The tribe has 24 children in the school system.

Tensions Build Between Town And Tribe Over Casino Plans

With the deadline now past to apply for commercial casino licenses in Massachusetts, the chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) said the tribe will not pursue a class three license from the state but will continue to press for a high-stakes bingo hall in Aquinnah.

Casino Rights Argued in U.S. Court

The attorney for the Wampanoag Tribe of Mashpee told a federal judge in Boston Monday that the tribe is in active negotiations with Gov. Deval Patrick over a compact that will allow it to open a casino in Taunton by 2014. Howard M. Cooper said the Mashpee Wampanoags hoped to complete negotiations with state in less than 60 days and submit the proposed agreement to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs for needed ratification.

As Casino Plans Stall, Tribe Faces Internal Issues

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), the first federally recognized American Indian tribe in the commonwealth, is going through a period of significant change as it pursues plans to build a casino in an uncertain economic and regulatory climate.

The hope of building a casino in southeastern Massachusetts has been thwarted by state officials, and a previously announced plan to convert the tribal community center to a bingo hall appears to be stalled.

No application has been filed with the town and the still-unfinished building has no certificate of occupancy permit.